David Walliams promotes WDYTYA?
TV

Who Do You Think You Are? David Walliams discovers ‘very sad story’

The Britain's Got Talent judge investigates his family history in BBC One's WDYTYA?

| Updated:

David Walliams is the latest celebrity to take part in series 17 of Who Do You Think You Are?

The Britain’s Got Talent judge is the subject of the second episode of WDYTYA?, following on from last week’s star Jodie Whittaker.

Here’s everything you need to know about comedian and author David.

David Walliams sits on steps outside leafy house
David Walliams delves into his family history on Who Do You Think You Are? (Credit: Wall to Wall Media Ltd / BBC / Stephen Perry)

Read more: BGT: ‘David Walliams and Alesha Dixon clashed over his Little Britain past’

David Walliams on Who Do You Think You Are?

David discovers not one, but two very “emotional” stories about his family’s past in the episode.

He learns of his great-grandfather’s traumatic experiences during the First World War.

He spent the rest of his lifetime in what was then called a lunatic asylum because of shell-shock.

David says: “It’s just a very sad story. Although I think he was very well cared for later in life, it’s not something you would wish on anybody.”

The second story is about David’s grandmother on his mother’s side and her grandfather, a blind showman who owned a funfair.

Why did David Walliams get an OBE?

David was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to charity and the arts.

His charity work includes swimming the English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar and River Thames, raising millions of pounds for the BBC charity Sport Relief.

David Walliams as a baby on his grandmother's knee
David Walliams as a baby on his grandmother Ivy Boorman’s knee (Credit: BBC / Photographer unknown)

Read more: BGT: David Walliams ‘threatened to quit if Piers Morgan replaced Simon Cowell’

Is David single?

David is notoriously private about his love life, but is thought to be single.

The TV personality married model Lara Stone in 2010, but they divorced in 2015.

David addressed speculation about his sexuality in an interview with Attitude magazine in 2017, when he was asked if he’s attracted to men.

He said: “It’s a bit of both. I don’t know why anyone would rule [a relationship with a man] out. Why would anyone say that’s never going to happen?

“I do love women and I’m attracted to women but sometimes I think it would be simpler if I wasn’t – because people think I’m gay and I’m camp.”

In the same year, David told The Sunday People: “I had gay experiences growing up, which I enjoyed. I was a teen and in a lot of all-male environments. I am naturally very camp.”

Does David Walliams have children?

David and then wife Lara Stone welcomed son Alfred in 2013.

He opened up about his family life during lockdown when he appeared on This Morning back in May.

Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about his new book, Slime, David said: “I have enjoyed having a bit more time than usual because normally I’m here, there and everywhere.

“But at the moment obviously I’m at home so I can write all day and all night […] and then other times I’m looking after my son and home schooling which has been fun.”

Elaborating, David said: “I only have one child, and he’s seven years old so I probably have it easier than lots of [other] parents […] but I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Why did David change his name?

David Williams altered his stage name to David Walliams when he joined college Equity.

He changed one letter of his surname when he discovered there was already a member named David Williams.

How old is David Walliams?

David is currently 49, and will turn 50 on Thursday August 20 2021.

He was born in Wimbledon, London, the son of the late Peter Williams, a London Transport engineer, and laboratory technician Kathleen Williams.

David grew up in Banstead, Surrey, with his mother, father and sister Julie.

He met his future comedy partner Matt Lucas when he performed with the National Youth Theatre in his late teens.

They found fame as part of a double act, appearing in Little Britain.

What has David said about Who Do You Think You Are?

David reveals that he doesn’t have many people he can ask about his past, after the death of his grandparents and dad.

Describing it as a “journey of discovery”, he said: “The two stories are very emotional – a great-grandfather was in WW1, and that was an incredibly sad story.

“Visiting the locations of the battlefields of WW1 was not something I would normally have done, and I found that very emotional.”

He added: “It was emotional, because those lives are so different from my own, and so difficult too. Neither life was enviable.”

David Walliams’ episode of Who Do You Think You Are? airs at 9pm on Monday 19 October on BBC One.

Will you be watching David Walliams on WDYTYA? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.